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What are the Reasons to Terminate a Parent’s Rights?

Termination of a parent’s rights is a very significant decision for the children and sometimes, kind of shameful as a parent. It is because obviously, that parent has done something harmful for the child, which is why the other parent wants to separate that parent from the child legally. In some cases, we have found many child abuse or sexual abuse, drugs, and many severe issues like these, for which it was inevitable there to terminate parental rights. It’s a very ignominious matter for those parents and society as well. However, in this article, we will discuss the parental rights termination and the reasons for terminating them. Hopefully, it will clear all your confusion regarding these issues. So, without any further delay, let’s get into the discussion. 

What is Termination of Parental Rights?

Termination of parental rights is basically a legal process of ending the relationship between a parent and his or her children for a significant reason. The court fully conducts this process, and after the termination of parental rights, there will be zero legal rights of that parent, and s/he will not be considered as the parent of that child. There are many more things that will be terminated with parental rights. These are as follows:

  • First of all, the parent-child relationship will no longer exist,
  • There will be no right to visit or talk to the child,
  • The parent will no longer get to raise the child,
  • The parent will not be able to pay child support,
  • The parent will also be removed from the birth certificate of the child,
  • That child can easily be adopted without the permission of the parent. 

Termination of parental rights is also called the civil death penalty, also called the civil death penalty. The judges take these types of cases very seriously, and they don’t do it without a very good or valid reason. Here, one notable thing is that court orders can only terminate parental rights. Here, the parent can sign “the affidavit of voluntary relinquishment” if s/he thinks that the court should terminate the parental rights. Or s/he can sign “the affidavit of waiver of interest” if s/he thinks to give up the interest s/he has in the child. 

However, parental rights will not be terminated even after signing these documents if the judges don’t sign them, which means “the affidavit of voluntary relinquishment” or “the affidavit of waiver of interest” is not enough to terminate the parental rights. 

What are the Reasons for Terminating a Parent’s Rights?

Termination of parental rights requires a valid reason. There are many valid reasons for terminating a parent’s rights. The most significant reasons are as follows:

The Parent is Unfit:

Some parents are physically or mentally disordered and don’t have the ability to take the proper care of their children. Every child needs proper guidance, care, and support from their parents. If the parents are unable to do it, it may be a good reason for terminating parental rights.  

Drugs or Alcohol Problems:

If any parent has serious alcohol or drug dependency problems by which children are being severely affected, it can be a cause of the termination of parental rights. When a person is severely addicted to drugs and alcohol, s/he can’t even take care of himself or herself. How can s/he take care of the children? For this reason, for the betterment of the children, termination of parental rights is needed there.


When a parent can fulfill the basic human needs of the children and can’t manage to take care of the children, it harms the children very badly. Basic human needs like food, shelter, education, medical care, etc., are mandatory for a person to live. If a parent can not provide this to their children, it is obviously considered a reason to terminate a parent’s rights. 

Sexual Assault:

When a child is conceived after a sexual assault, the convicted parent will be worthy of the termination of parental rights. These kinds of cases are very serious, so judges try to clear them as soon as possible because here, the child is also in danger. Besides, if any parent is convicted of sexual abuse of any child, s/he will also get the termination of parental rights.

Child Abuse:

In this case, any types of physical, mental, or other abuse are considered child abuse. Here, if any kind of child abuse is occurred by a parent, it will also be a reason to terminate a parent’s rights.  


Here, abandonment refers to any behavior that shows the parent wants to give up all the rights to the child if a parent is not contacted with the child and doesn’t provide any type of support for at least 6 months without any valid reason. 

Failure of Parental Adjustment:

There may have many problems between the parents, but if it harms the children’s life, the court can remove the children from the family on the basis of the child’s best interest. Here parents get some time to adjust all the problems, but if they are unable to do it, the court can terminate a parent’s rights. 

Risk of Injuries:

If children are in danger of any risk from their parents, the court can terminate parental rights on the basis of the child’s best interest.

Lack of Effort:

For the betterment of the children, parents have to give a minimum effort, but if the court finds that there is a lack of effort that harms the children, then it will also be considered the reasons to terminate a parent’s rights to his or her child. 

Some Additional Reasons:

There are many additional reasons for which the court can terminate the parental rights to their children. Among those, the most significant reasons are as follows:

  • Risk of any substantial harm of the child,
  • The preference of the child,
  • Another child is addicted to drugs or alcohol,
  • The child was born as a result of rape or adultery,
  • Child needs continue to care and love,
  • The child was in foster care for 15 months in the last 22 months, etc. 


Well, these are mainly the reasons to terminate a parent’s rights to his or her child. Termination of parental rights is a very serious matter. So, before making any big decision, try to consult with your family lawyer. Anyways, in this article, we have discussed the termination of parental rights and its reasons. Hopefully, you have found the article interesting and enriched your knowledge about this topic. 

Red Note: 30 September 2022

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